Advent’s promise: Love breaking into our world of chaos

Cornwall Cogitation (North America) #13 Saturday 23 December 2017   Big chaos skitters about the world, that’s certain, but there’s a bigger cosmos that was, that is, that will be.

Featured image: The Advent banner at Prairie Street Mennonite Church, Elkhart, Indiana, shows the promise of Love breaking into our world of chaos. The darkness of the world is expressed in the use of black. Purple represents this time of reflectiveness, a time to prepare for Immanuel. The hope of ‘God’s promise is reflected in the blue moving throughout the piece. The yellow conveys the presence of God’s light breaking into our darkness. God comes to us and dwells with us! We wait for that promise, The quilt was designed by Prairie Street member Janice Wiebe Ollenburger and first hung for Advent 1988.

Prairie Street Mennonite Church, 1316 Prairie Street, Elkhart, Indiana. Advent banner on the right.

Advent scripture for our Christmas Eve service is Isaiah 9:2-7.

Children’s time last Sunday

A visitor to our church, Johan, helps Jeanette Krabill put together a nativity set during Children’s time last Sunday. Johan and his parents were visiting from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The nativity set is a quilted one, made in Turkestan.

Giving chaos the boot

Cosmos represents an orderly harmonious systematic universe, Webster’s Dictionary tells me. So why are we surrounded by a state of utter confusion or just mass confusion on so many fronts in our world? We live in a cosmos, God’s creation, so why degenerate what is good, true, worthy, pleasing, godly, orderly, harmonious, and systematic into chaos and more raw chaos?

Old Testament prophet Isaiah shows me the positive side. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness–on them has light shined” 9:2). In 9:6 -7 these astonishing words, “For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. . . . and there shall be endless peace. . . . The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”

Isaiah speaks for me, helpfully expounded by congregational member Ben Ollenburger in a sermon Sunday, “The Spirit-anointed Messiah.” Go to http://www.prairiestreetmc.org to listen to a podcast of the worship service.

So does Andy Williams speak for me,  just now singing Joy to the world (Andy Williams Christmas Album, 1993). “He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of his righteousness, and wonders  of his love, and wonders,  wonders of his love.”

So does Percy Bysshe Shelly speak for me: “The great morning of the world when first God dawned on Chaos.”

So, let’s hear it for the Cosmos, for all that God would make right in the world. In second hour this Sunday we’ll do a sing-along of Handel’s Messiah.

I celebrate and seek better for all God’s creation

Footprints of mammals, both four-footed and bipedal. I celebrate God’s creative hand over the world.
Candles in American Park along the Elkhart River. I celebrate light breaking into deep darkness.
Oxbow Park with reflection of the setting sun. I celebrate the beauty that has been Autumn and welcome winter.
Prepared (fattened) for winter, but digging for a few bites won’t hurt. I celebrate creatures great and small.
Boot Lake County Park. Shocking long-range view of vultures feeding on a deer carcass. I ponder life’s cycle.
Heading south? I am concerned about the worrying alarm call for birds on the brink of extinction, as the Canada goose once was. Now it’s the Kittiwake seabird and Atlantic puffin who are globally threatened. How? Helen Briggs, on BBC News online (12.12.17), said, “Overfishing and changing sea temperatures are pushing seabirds to the brink of extinction, according to new data on the world’s birds.” She notes, too, that “on land the Snowy Owl is struggling to find prey as ice melts in the North American Arctic.” A happy note further in her article, “conservation efforts do pay off.” I tip my hat to conservation.

More from area walks 

Christmas gifting

If you were one of Queen Elizabeth’s staff of 1,500, this year you’d have been favoured with the gift of a Christmas pudding. Cost to the royal purse was $16,500. Advertising benefit to Tesco, from whence came the dessert confection, priceless.

The Christmas pudding story makes me recall some such goodness from my growing up years. My mother made wonderful Christmas cakes, cookies, Yule logs, potato-peanut butter candy, and, of course, a meal with many trimmings.

And, of course, we got presents under the tree, too. These gifts are long past, the memories ever-present.

Fruitcakes in a number of varieties were a Christmas staple in my extended family. Maybe someday I’ll try this one from the recipe book my mother wrote out for us siblings. People who shun such cakes may never have tasted the real thing. To all their just desserts.

This Ford, “parked” at Kercher’s Sunrise Orchards, Goshen, still delivers Christmas sentiments.

Merry/Happy Christmas!

Advent and Christmastide (and sacred times celebrated in other faiths) makes me mindful of a world we want to make better for all children. Peace be with you, with all who are dear to you, and with the whole world,

-John

These carolers “entertain” residents and guests at Thurston Woods Retirement Community in Sturgis, Michigan, where on Friday we visited an almost 100-year-old resident who this summer moved from independent in assisted living. Happily, we bumped into some of her extended family who had just arrived from Illinois and Minnesota. Go Cosmos!

2 thoughts on “Advent’s promise: Love breaking into our world of chaos

  1. This week I was fondly remembering all of moms goodies she baked. Just so tasty. I remember sneaking upstairs to Les’ bedroom I finding the tins of cookies hidden in the hutch which is now at Brian’s. I can still taste those yummy treats which I would sneak!
    One day I might attemp her Christmas cake. Merry Christmas,
    Kaye

    Like

  2. Hello John,

    Love your Advent banner! Merry Christmas to you and Marty!

    Monty & Ginger 🎄✝️🌴

    Sent from a device smarter than myself!

    >

    Like

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